Sunday, 5 February 2012

Trees in Winter: concertina paper/fabric booklet

First visual stage
I have begun putting together the winter tree concertina booklet which began in my head, and on the page, on 27th January, and probably before then. All to often, I spend hours jotting down ideas, expanding them - and never actually passing the stage of early experiments! This year, with my plan to participate in Warwickshire Art Week, I must actually complete some projects; not one of each but duplicating them. One for my portfolio, and others to sell, if they inspire buyers. I managed it for village art show in the Autumn, sold some pieces, and am expanding my range. Basically, I love to work in paper and fabric, incorporating my own photos and words, adding embellishments of many sorts, depending on what it is I am making.

On the way
Well, I've passed the point of no return, of my usual evasion of actually beginning. It was almost the same this time: cold feet that what I envisaged would not work. I have to add here that I am still keeping notes, a creative diary, and a sampling sketchbook. The notes are necessary because if I want to replicate a technique or method I have used, I forget what I did if I don't write it down; also because from time to time I am asked to write a feature on my work, with step-by-step instructions and the notes are invaluable. I find my camera useful for these records, and they are added to my sampling book. 

Potential layout (view in pairs and imagine the zig-zag folds)
I have to add at this point that the photographic record I made today is poor and out of focus. No excuse, but my workroom is out of action (power points in need of repair) and the north-facing bedroom where I usually take my product photos has no heating in it at the moment, and dashing up and down stairs with bits and pieces was to daunting to face on such a bitterly cold day here.

Potential layout
After all this lengthy preamble, maybe I should explain what I am making. A concertina booklet with paper pages fused to fabric - the topic: Winter Trees. I've been taking photographs on each of our 'picnics' since the 1st January (see last few posts), writing my 'word-whisper' on the spot, or when we return. All the images I am using are cropped out of a larger image, taken specifically with that in mind. The paper pages are made from an old second hand book - I purchased a quantity inexpensively from my favourite antiquarian bookseller a couple of weeks ago, intending to 'alter' them for these sort of projects. These I distressed with a walnut colour spray to 'antique' them.

Revised layout, images and words fused
I collected  quite a few possible embellishments, intending to 'audition' them against the layout - something I always do (comes from my years of editing magazines). I decided on this occasion that less is more and that as the pages were so small (only 4in x4in - 10cm x 10cm), I would keep them simple. I did not have sufficient of the cotton lace I wanted for page edges, so had to substitute. The replacement will be better, I think; less obtrusive. The photos were manipulated and printed, fused to the pages according to my layout, as were the words I added. I did not like the planned final page, so typed and printed one of the word-spills that I had written on our picnic the day I truly began this project. All is now ready for adding stitching, and then fusing to a cheesecloth/muslin backing and adding the cover and title. To be continued .....

The pieces immediately above are ready to be stitched around the images and words, then lace edging will be stitched in place. These finished pages will be mounted and stitched onto the concertina background. Cover and back-cover have yet to be created. Double-click on any image to view it at larger size.


  1. So simple and so effective! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished work.

  2. I can't wait to see it finished. It looks lovely so far. I think concertina books are little pieces of art. And I love, love, love trees.

  3. This is so nice love it!!!